Students' Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
Extenuating Circumstances

General Questions

How do I make an appointment with an assistant dean?

Visit the Office for Undergraduate Studies in 104 O’Shaughnessy Hall or call 574.631.7098.

How do I know who my adviser is?

Check with your major department to determine who your adviser is for your major. You also have an advising dean, assigned to you based on your last name. If you have questions, contact the Office for Undergraduate Studies.

How do I declare my major?

Visit the Office for Undergraduate Studies to declare your major if you are an Arts and Letters intent. If you are not interested in Arts and Letters, contact the appropriate college directly.

What is College Seminar?

College Seminar is a one-semester course shared by all students majoring in the College of Arts and Letters.

Typically taken sophomore year, it offers students an introduction to the diversity and distinctive focus of the liberal arts at Notre Dame. Individual sections of College Seminar vary in their topics and texts, but all feature an interdisciplinary approach, commitment to engaging important questions, employment of major works, and emphasis on the development of oral skills.

Every College Seminar syllabus will include works that approach the section topic from the perspective of each of the three divisions of the College: the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences. Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) majors or students who complete a Great Books seminar in PLS are exempt from the College Seminar requirement. All other Arts and Letters students, without exception, are required to take College Seminar.

Note: This course is not the same as the University Seminar, which is a requirement of all first-year students who attend Notre Dame.

How do I know if I should drop a course?

If you are experiencing academic difficulties in a course that could result in a failing grade or receive a deficiency report by mid-semester, you may consider dropping a course.

It is important to consult your professor and a dean for advice on how to improve performance in order to successfully complete the course.

You can drop a course with no grade implications by the first Friday following fall or spring break. The dropped course is completely removed from your record.

However, you must still have 12 credit hours on your schedule to maintain full-time status.

How do I design my own major?

A program for a special self-designed major was approved by the College Council during the 1994–95 year. The self-designed major involves substantive integration of the subject matter in ways that cannot be undertaken within any existing major, minor, area studies, or concentration program.

This option is granted under exceptional circumstances by the dean, under the recommendation of the Undergraduate Advisory Committee.

If you have questions about the self-designed major, please make an appointment with Ava Preacher in the Office for Undergraduate Studies.

How do I get a dean’s approval to participate in a study abroad program?

Visit Study Aboad for information on completing the Study Abroad Planning Chart, searching for specific programs, and setting up a meeting with a dean in 104 O’Shaughnessy Hall for study abroad approval. To secure approval, you must see a dean in 104 O’Shaughnessy Hall before the Arts and Letters application deadline.

How do I participate in two study abroad programs?

Participation in two study abroad programs is allowed only in rare cases. Please refer to these guidelines to determine if you should apply for this exception. Also, make an appointment with a dean in the Office for Undergraduate Studies for guidance.

How do I transfer from another university?

Transfer students must apply through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Please contact Erin Camilleri by email at, by phone at 574.631.7505, or by mail at 220 Main Building, Notre Dame, IN 46556.

To transfer to the College of Arts and Letters, you must complete the two math and two science courses required by Notre Dame’s First Year of Studies curriculum.

Undergraduate transfer students will be evaluated based on the advanced status determined at the point of admission (number of transfer credits accepted).


How do I get my PIN?

Check with your adviser in your first major to receive your PIN.

How do I find out when my exams are?

Exam schedules are posted on the Office of the Registrar website.

How do I overload?

Only juniors with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0 may apply for overloads. Sophomores are not eligible. Juniors and seniors in the College of Arts and Letters may apply for an overload at the Office for Undergraduate Studies.

How do I take a class pass/fail?

You must receive permission from the Office for Undergraduate Studies within the first seven class days of a semester. University, College, and major requirements cannot be taken pass/fail.

How do I get a copy of my transcript?

You must request a copy of your transcript from the Office of the Registrar by going to 300 Grace Hall or by completing the form available online.

Extenuating Circumstances

How do I apply for a leave of absence?

Visit the Office for Undergraduate Studies in 104 O’Shaughnessy Hall, and an assistant dean will help you.

How do I withdraw from the University?

Schedule an appointment with an assistant dean in the Office for Undergraduate Studies to learn about the proper procedure.